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Crunch Time for 6-Pack Abs

The rectus abdominis muscle is located in the front of the body—with attachments extending from the pubic bone to the sternum. Short range of motion abdominal exercises—such as the crunch—active the rectus abdominis—by pulling the ribs and pelvis inward, while curving the spine. Common events such coughing, breathing in, child birth, and bowel movements, activate the rectus muscle.

Rectus Crunch:

Lie supine (on your back) on the floor. Simultaneously, contract your rectus abdominis by raising your head up 6 inches, while raising your legs off the floor to a 90-degree angle at the knees—lower legs parallel to the floor. Raise your outstretched arms and isometrically push your hands into your thighs. Hold for a 2-count. Then, simultaneously lower your left leg and right arm—just off the floor. Pause for a 2-count before returning to start position. Repeat on the other side. Try 10 repetitions.

A separate movement has you holding a contraction against one thigh with the hand on the same side, while simultaneously extending the leg and arm on the opposite, non-contracted side.

Remember, you should always consult your physician before beginning any exercise, diet, or nutritional supplementation program.

Mackie and April share exercises every Wednesday on WWL-TV